Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Essential Research at long last emerges from the voting intention wilderness, although its results going forward will be carefully rationed.

Another pollster returns from the naughty corner today to chance its arm at voting intention, which now makes three if you count the erratically published Roy Morgan series (which I incline not to myself). That pollster is Essential Research, which has remained prodigious with attitudinal polling since the May 2019 federal election, and has maintained its monthly leadership ratings, while offering no clue as to its voting intention numbers beyond the inclusion of raw figures in reporting its sub-samples.

Unhappily for we salivating dogs in the psephoblogosphere, these figures will only be published on a quarterly basis. This appears to mean that every sixth or seventh fortnightly Essential Research release will provide the fortnightly voting intention results of the preceding period. This, the pollster says, will “mitigate the tendency to report on minor movements as some sort of political horse race”. This latest release confuses the issue by providing weekly numbers through June, but I believe this is an artefact of a temporary move to weekly polling to track reactions to COVID-19.

Essential will also make a point of not excluding the undecided from its headline results, arguing the conventional practice entails a “lack of nuance”, though no doubt rivals will accuse the pollster of hedging its bets. The pollster still follows the conventional practice of prodding the initially undecided with a follow-up that asks who they are leaning towards. A proportion of these persist in declining a response, but remain in the sample with responses included for the other survey questions.

The latest primary vote numbers show the Coalition on 38% (up one), Labor on 35% (up one), the Greens on 9% (down one), One Nation on 4% (steady) and others on 6% (steady). If the undecided were excluded, the results would be Coalition 41.3%, Labor 38.0%, Greens 9.8% and One Nation 4.3%, and 51-49 to Labor on two-party preferred (for the sake of consistency with other pollsters, it’s the latter figure that I will continue to use in my headlines). Compared with the 2019 election result, this leaves Labor up nearly five points but the Coalition hardly changed, with the slack taken up from smaller parties and independents.

Labor with 47% of the decided two-party vote (up one on a fortnight ago) to the Coalition’s 45% (steady), leaving an outstanding 8% potentially to be called on to fill the gap between the reported numbers and an actual result. The pollster’s two-party numbers look to be consistent with a 2019 election preferences allocation, although the report is not specific as to whether this method or respondent allocation was used. In his piece in The Guardian, Peter Lewis of Essential Research explains: “We will now be asking participants who vote for a minor party to indicate a preferred major party. Only when they do not provide a preference will we allocate based on previous flows.“

These results are obviously a lot better for Labor than what has come through from Newspoll and Morgan, and are clearly an established peculiarity of the series. Where headline results over the past two months have shown Labor matching or exceeding their primary vote at the election despite the inclusion of a 7% to 9% undecided component, the Coalition have been coming in two to four points lower. The Greens are reckoned to be about where they were and the election and One Nation a little higher, though the latter is complicated by their tendency to only run in selected seats.

Also featured in the latest poll:

• The federal government’s ratings for COVID-19 response are unchanged at 64% good and 16% poor, and the combined response for state governments has shifted only negligibly, with good and poor both up a point to 65% to 18% respectively.

• The small-sample results for individual state governments show the Victorian government up four points on both good and poor, to 53% and 30% respectively. This still leaves it with the weakest figures out of the mainland state governments, with the Western Australian government recovering its title of strongest performer (up five to 82%) from South Australia (down three to 76%).

• On JobKeeper and JobSeeker, 69% supported businesses being retested for eligibility, with 9% opposed; 66% supported continuing payments for six months, with 12% opposed; 54% supported reducing the amount of the payments, with 21% opposed; but only 29% supported excluding casual workers, with 40% opposed.

• Forty-three per cent rated themselves very concerned about COVID-19, up seven on a fortnight ago, with quite concerned down four to 44%, not that concerned down three to 9% and not at all concerned up one to 4%.

• Fifty-six per cent favour a “suppression strategy” and 44% an “elimination strategy”.

• Sixty-eight per cent support mandatory face masks. with 13% opposed; 19% believe them very effective, 46% quite effective, 20% not that effective and 5% not effective at all.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1058.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,645 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

  1. Z
    She also said it was incorrect that anyone died because of robodebt as if she had looked at and dismissed every case where it was alleged someone had committed suicide because of robodebt.
    Some of these senior civil servants are just as sociopathic as CEOs of big companies.

  2. Zerlo says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    I think Nath is Jealous.
    __________
    An MP since thirty with no real world experience? The highest paid Premier at 450k plus a life pension to travel to Europe. Bet your ass I am.


  3. Diogenes says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    fred

    Completely agree. I think most people now realise elimination is the best strategy. As you say, half arsed measures just prolong the agony.

    As we now have “zero community transmission” entering the Liberals lexicon they may have realized the big big mistake they have made, unfortunately the 60 billion has been pissed down the drain and won’t come back and the Liberals are too smarmy to come out and say, oops we made a mistake, elimination it is, no it’s “zero community transmission”.

    First step unfortunately is to go back to square one, admit the 60 billion has been lost and lock Victoria and NSW down again.

  4. Nath,

    As detailed as your opposition research undoubtedly is – it is very tenously related to present discussion. But cool story, just needs a few more dragons imo.

  5. nath says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:05 pm
    Bugler says:
    I don’t see this “pile on Andrews” mentality in the least bit productive, given it is 99% 20:20 hindsight from 600km+ distance.
    ______________
    The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.

    Andrews, who was an electorate officer after finishing at Uni, has been an extremely well paid since the age of 30. He will retire a multi-millionaire. Not many with a major in Classics can say the same. We should expect better from our ‘superannuated glitterati”.

    Classics? My admiration has increased.

  6. Fred
    We actually came very close. All those businesses and lobby groups which threatened politicians if they didn’t relax restrictions must be feeling sick about now.

  7. Weak as piss Player1. And weak as piss William.

    You’re allowing this fraudster to go on insinuating untruths, half truths and outright lies. It’s her schtick on this board: drive-by judgementalism and then, when challenged, making light of it. She’s about as substantial as a sandfly in an East Coast low.

    Put up or shut up, P1. You’re the one with all the “evidence”. Pity your record keeping skills weren’t able to be applied to your Centrelink caper.

  8. Andrews….well read as well as schooled in politics. There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s no Green flea either.

    It’s not a wonder the Blue scrum resent Andrews. He’s everything they are not.

  9. nath

    your argument is complete nonsense.

    Dan Andrews is more than just one person in a political party.
    Dan Andrews has more people working for the state government that oversea the state of Victoria.

    Shameful of you shame ful to attack one, one who is actually doing his job.

    Compared to Trump and marketing Man.

    COMPLETE UTTER SHAMELESS.

  10. Bushfire Bill @ #1560 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 10:25 pm

    Weak as piss Player1. And weak as piss William.

    You’re allowing this fraudster to go on insinuating untruths, half truths and outright lies. It’s her schtick on this board: drive-by judgementalism and then, when challenged, making light of it. She’s about as substantial as a sandfly in an East Coast low.

    Put up or shut up, P1. You’re the one with all the “evidence”. Pity your record keeping skills weren’t able to be applied to your Centrelink caper.

    Google is your enemy, BB.

  11. “I don’t think Andrews is any worse than the other premiers. He was unlucky and definitely a few organisations stuffed up. I think Sutton has a lot to answer for.”

    Jesus, the Premier is responsible. If all went well he would be basking in it. He portrayed himself as the holiest and most moral Australian politician on COVID19 and his Government completely stuffed up. Then he had the cowardly temerity to blame his own constituents for basic human behaviour.

    PB is full of hypocrites on this. If it was ScoMo or a Liberal as State Premier it would all be cries for them to go. Imagine if it was NSW.

    I’d like to hear one good argument in favour of Dan Andrews staying Premier other than continuity and ‘he did his best, it was bad luck and weak Victorians that stuffed us’.

  12. Diogenes says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Fred
    We actually came very close. All those businesses and lobby groups which threatened politicians if they didn’t relax restrictions must be feeling sick about now.

    Yes the economic consequences are going to be enormous. We are unlikely to get out of this without another shutdown.

    Lets hope next time around Morrison shuts up and keeps his smarmy efforts to undermine the premier to himself and the businesses and lobby groups hide in shame.

    A good beginning would be for Morrison to stop trying to inflict damage on the states that do have it under control.

  13. Historyintimesays:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:30 pm
    the Premier is responsible. If all went well he would be basking in it. He portrayed himself as the holiest and most moral Australian politician on COVID19 and his Government completely stuffed up. Then he had the cowardly temerity to blame his own constituents for basic human behaviour.
    ____________________
    Well Andrews was dealing with the Somyurek situation at the time of the hotel outbreak. you know, where he and the other faction leaders got rid of their enemy. What was Somyurek fired for? Swearing or some such? It couldn’t have been for branch stacking, everyone knew that years ago. Even though Bill Shorten is still in shock over it. I wonder if he is back to eating solids yet?

  14. Nobody’s lying, BB. The comment Player One is referring to is this one. The sentiment it expresses is one a good many people, and almost certainly the vast majority of Chinese people, would consider racist. On the other hand, it happened three and a half months ago, so who cares.

    And with that, there will be no more discussion between you and Player One.

  15. Historyintime

    Dan will remain Premier because he has the numbers and an election is a long way off. COVID will be with us for an indefinitely long time. It’s far too early to call last drinks.

    Human behaviour is exploited by the virus. We have yet to learn how to adapt our own actions so as to thwart viral spread. The more dissension there is the slower will be the learning….humans being highly counter-suggestible and all.

  16. Historyintime
    He did his best in an environment where the Prime Minister continually attempted to get things opened up when they should have remained closed to keep an environment where R was less than 1.,

    The Prime minster threatened age cared with new rules if they locked down hard ( that went well didn’t it).
    Promised independent schools with early funds if they opened up.
    He is still trying to help Palmer open state borders.

    The Prime Minister pushed hard for half a job, we got nothing in return for the effort.

  17. The Premier said today Mr Somyurek had been sacked, effective immediately following allegations he described a female minister as a “stupid b**h” and a “moll.”

    “Just after 9am this morning I met with Adem Somyurek and I informed him that I would be writing to the governor to terminate his commission as a minister to essentially sack him from my ministry,’’ Mr Andrews said.
    ___________________________
    Seems like there is summary justice for some. Don’t use these words around Andrews or you will be sacked. Dan doesn’t forgive mistakes like being covertly recorded!

  18. Bushfire Bill says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:25 pm
    Weak as piss Player1. And weak as piss William.

    You’re allowing this fraudster to go on insinuating untruths, half truths and outright lies. It’s her schtick on this board: drive-by judgementalism and then, when challenged, making light of it. She’s about as substantial as a sandfly in an East Coast low.

    Put up or shut up, P1. You’re the one with all the “evidence”. Pity your record keeping skills weren’t able to be applied to your Centrelink caper.
    _________________________-
    Now the raging aging bully boy comes out. It worked with pegasus and now he wants to extend it to PL1.

  19. Nath,

    You sound like every boomer desperately trying understand shitposting and thinking that making the same comment under every post is the same thing.

  20. Buglersays:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:43 pm
    Nath,

    You sound like every boomer desperately trying understand shitposting and thinking that making the same comment under every post is the same thing.
    ____________
    I’m just wondering where is the consideration for Somyurek. Covertly recorded using the words ‘bitch’ and ‘moll’ and being sacked for it. Did he make a mistake? yes. And Andrews was swift in sacking him.

  21. The Libs have tried to frame the pandemic as a matter of the economy-first – code for jobs first. This is code for their party ID.

    Trouble is, it won’t work. The pandemic has a life of its own. Pushing their ideology will be self-defeating for the Libs. The public are awake to this. If the Liberals persist they will do great harm to their brand.

  22. Historyintime writes:

    I’d like to hear one good argument in favour of Dan Andrews staying Premier other than continuity and ‘he did his best, it was bad luck and weak Victorians that stuffed us’.

    And it’s all true.

    A perfect argument requires no embellishment.

    “What Victoria needs is discontinuity, and Michael O’Brien is just the man to provide it,” doesn’t quite have that “ring” to it.

    The more social miscreants like the Queensland Coronettes, “Karen” from Bunnings, and the other (real life) Karen from Wodonga prove that dickheads will ruin the best laid plans of men and Premiers, while back-stabbing, disloyal strikers like Morrison and no-name kibbitzers from the bleachers like O’Brien heckle the ref, the more secure Dan Andrews’ job is.

  23. Fred,

    Is it really relevant that he did his best? And I really can’t see how you can say Morrison is responsible for what happened in Victoria. The State and Territory leaders disregarded his comments and asserted state sovereignty when it suited them.

    Victoria is in an awful state and the buck has to stop somewhere. In that regard, the State Premier had been by far the single most powerful player. If it was NSW the Left would be saying that Gladys must resign. But somehow Dan Andrews gets a pass for some reason.

  24. Bugler @ #1579 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 10:46 pm

    At least we know you’re not Tim Smith. Clearly Bernie Finn.

    It’s a perverse kind of morality, though. Defending a guy who called a woman a ‘bitch’ and a ‘moll’…because he got secretly filmed doing it.

    Methinks old nath employs any pretzel logic that suits his purposes.

  25. Historyintime says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:30 pm
    “I don’t think Andrews is any worse than the other premiers. He was unlucky and definitely a few organisations stuffed up. I think Sutton has a lot to answer for.”

    Jesus, the Premier is responsible. If all went well he would be basking in it. He portrayed himself as the holiest and most moral Australian politician on COVID19 and his Government completely stuffed up. Then he had the cowardly temerity to blame his own constituents for basic human behaviour.
    :;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    Of course Andrews is responsible. He admits it. He carries the responsibility of taking the necessary steps to get the virus back under control. Had things gone well why would you deny him the right to bask in it?

    And what do you mean by the accusation of cowardly temerity? Some of his own constituents have stuffed up. Shouldn’t they be called out. Even the opposition fop O’Brien is calling for harsher punishment for miscreants. And you have a sookie because Andrews calls these irresponsible people out. Jeezus, get a grip.
    :;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    PB is full of hypocrites on this. If it was ScoMo or a Liberal as State Premier it would all be cries for them to go. Imagine if it was NSW.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    ScoMo (he of the get thee out from under the doona fame) when we still had a pandemic transmitting in Victoria; he of the don’t close the borders fame that has been so successful for most of Australia; he of the let’s shake hands and go to the footy it is only a pandemic fame – you think he should escape criticism? Seriously?
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    I’d like to hear one good argument in favour of Dan Andrews staying Premier other than continuity and ‘he did his best, it was bad luck and weak Victorians that stuffed us’.
    :;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    How about the argument there is no one better?

    How about the argument that he has consistently listened to and applied medical science advice?

    How about the argument you get out from under the doona (following scomo’s advice) and actually critically analyse what Andrews HAS done and why.

  26. Now the raging aging bully boy comes out. It worked with pegasus and now he wants to extend it to PL1.

    Sexist, ageist insults… all par for the course from the South Coast Slanderer… they always revert to type, doing exactly what they so blithely condemn others for doing. Any other devastating strings to your mighty bow Player1?

    You’re the one who made the threat, mate. Who’s the bully?

    Again, you’re long on bullshit, short on delivery. Let’s see your incriminating dossier. As long as you stick around to wear it and don’t squib out yet again.

  27. H.I.T leads with his chin, again:

    BB

    What about a replacement Victorian Labor Premier?

    In your dreams, son. What a giant of an imagination.

    Is this the best the Nine-Sky boiler room can cook up?

  28. C@tmommasays:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:50 pm
    Bugler @ #1579 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 10:46 pm

    At least we know you’re not Tim Smith. Clearly Bernie Finn.

    It’s a perverse kind of morality, though. Defending a guy who called a woman a ‘bitch’ and a ‘moll’…because he got secretly filmed doing it.

    Methinks old nath employs any pretzel logic that suits his purposes.
    ____________________________
    No I think a person being covertly recorded is an invasion of privacy. We have only Somyurek’s side of the conversation because the man who recorded it, Anthony Byrne neatly removed his side of the conversation. Quite a stitch up. But who hasn’t used intemperate words at times, especially when talking to a person you think is a friend.

  29. nath

    Well Banana man, you don’t get a say and it’s not your responsibility. This is for Victorians to say. The bearers of civilization on this continent of morons.
    ————-
    May I say, you are being a boorish Victorian, but then i suppose that is the inevitable result of those who bear “civilization” as distinct from the noble bearers of civilisation! 🙂

  30. You’re talking to Lars, BB, not Player One. Which leaves me unsure as to whether my injunction at 10:34pm applies in this case. As a general principle though, you could do worse than to cultivate an ability to get over things, and not allow tedious personal spats to grind on for months on end because you and your antagonist (Player One is fully as bad as you on this score) insist on having the last word.

  31. C@tmomma,

    I saw nath as wanting to change the subject to something that he’s got bookmarked pages about, I wouldn’t read too much else into it.

  32. Non
    Fancy a wager on Andrews sticking around until the next election ?
    Once trust is gone it is very hard to win back and i dont think he can be bothered trying.
    Stick a fork in him. He’s done.
    Get us through the next 6 months then call it a day.

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